I received a Howa 1500 Mini Action bolt action rifle from Legacy Sports International , chambered in 7.62×39 for review. This rifle is also available in .204 Ruger, .222 Remington, .223 Remington, and 6.5 Grendel. The package includes a 3-9×40 Nikko Sterling Panamax scope mounted and bore sighted. Minimal adjustment was needed to get it zeroed at 100 yards being on paper right out of the box. A note on the Mini Action is about a half inch shorter than the standard long action and a couple of ounces lighter. Also there are a few barrel options available 20″ lightweight, 22″ standard, and 20 heavy barrel. The test sample wore a Kryptek Highlander multicam finish on the stock but there are a few other options available. If you decide you do not want the optic, you can get just the rifle.
The rifle in 7.62×39 ships standard with a five round detachable box magazine. The trigger was very nice, two stage trigger with effortless take up, breaking clean at three pounds, with a little over travel. The cocking indicator is easily visible from the rear of the bolt.
Ambidextrous magazine release worked as it should.
A small button on the left side of the bolt action releases the bolt from the rifle. The action is pillar bedded and the barrel is free floated greatly increasing accuracy potential.
The three position safety just behind the bolt handle. The forward most position is off safe, indicated by a red dot, the middle position allowed working of the bolt but locked the trigger, and the reward most position locked the bolt and trigger.
3 shot groups shot at 100 yards from a rest.
Howa has been building quality rifles for some time now with an extensive catalog of models and options. The 1500 is a handy and light weight bolt action rifle that can be had through Legacy Sports International with a Nikko Stirling Panamax 3-9×40 scope mounted. The Nikko Stirling line of scopes are inexpensive but not cheap and would serve you well until the time you may grow out of it. You can read my review on their 4-16×50 scope by following this link. Being a bolt action rifle, we did not expect any issues and had none over about 350 rounds downrange. The 7.62X39 is a venerable and effective cartridge with similar ballistics to the 30-30 Winchester supersonic 300 Blackout but much less expensive to shoot and is readily available, so much so it does make sense to have a bolt action rifle in that caliber. This rifle would serve very well as a sporting rifle or to introduce someone to the bolt action rifle game. Out of the box this rifle was ready to go. Recoil was manageable, though the rifle was not heavy. Accuracy out to a 100 yards with not bad at all especially considering the 7.62×39 is no bench rest cartridge. All in all I am satisfied with this rifle as a complete package to do exactly as it was intended
Barrel length: 20″
Stock finish: Multicam
Length of pull: 13.87”
Total length: 39.5”
Weight: 5.7 pounds
Trigger pull: 3 pounds
Twist: 1:9 RH twist
MSRP: $724 in Kyrptek Highland multicam.